This vegan cheesy BBQ chicken dip is ideal for game day noshing. A secret veggie ingredient is transformed into shredded barbecue "chicken" with a few easy tricks. The chick'n is then mixed with dairy-free cream cheese and baked until hot and bubbly. The warm dip is topped with vegan cheddar cheese and garnished with fresh cilantro, red onion, black beans, jalapeño slices, and scallions.
Have you had a chance to make this warm bean dip yet? If not, be sure to add it to your lineup this fall!
Although this barbecue "chicken" dip is altogether different, it was most certainly inspired by the yumminess of its bean-y predecessor.
Because you know what fall needs more of? Warm, plant-powered, cheesy dips.
I don't know about you, but when it comes to game day, I'm only in it for the snacks and no-shower-required couch lounging. The actual football games? Eh, could do without 'em.
Anyone else feel this way?
I've always wished I could get into football, but something about it causes my mind to go into a trance-like state.
No matter how hard I try to pay attention, I find myself zoned out and daydreaming within a few minutes.
Maybe it's the droning voices of those announcers? The constant commercial interruptions? I honestly don't know.
But if Dan can't get me to like football (he's tried everything from bribes to foot massages to pumpkin beer), it's not gonna happen.
All is well that ends well though, and if game day includes a dip like this one, it's a day well spent...
This dip's faux chicken base is made with a secret vegetable ingredient.
Hint: It's not jackfruit (because duh, that's a fruit), but it requires a cooking technique that's similar to the one used in my recipe for vegan BBQ pulled "pork" (which does, in fact, use jackfruit).
Take a closer look at the finished BBQ "chicken" and see if you can figure it out...
If you guessed hearts of palm, you're right! 💯
Hearts of palm are wayyy easier to find than jackfruit, and yet they shred in a very similar manner, which makes them an excellent vegetable-based alternative to shredded meat.
Easy to find + texturally on-point = win, win.
To make the shredded barbecue "chicken," you'll sauté a bit of red onion in olive oil.
While the onion sweats and softens, prepare an easy BBQ spice rub by combining brown sugar, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and smoke salt (or sea salt).
Then, drain two cans hearts of palm and slice them in half widthwise.
Add the hearts of palm to the spice mixture and toss to coat.
Next, add the spiced hearts of palm to the pan with the onion and sauté for five minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together your favorite store-bought or homemade vegan barbecue sauce. Add the mixture to the pan, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the hearts of palm are fall-apart tender.
Once tender, use two forks to shred the hearts of palm. Continue to simmer for just five more minutes, or until the sauce is mostly absorbed.
Remove the BBQ hearts of palm from the heat, and stir in eight ounces of vegan cream cheese.
I recommend using a cultured vegan cream cheese like kite hill (not sponsored, just love) or my homemade version (simply omit the peppers).
Then, spread the mixture into a greased casserole dish and bake for 10 minutes, or until hot.
While the dip bakes, you'll prepare this quick and easy stretchy vegan cashew cheddar cheese.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Please don't stress about the idea of homemade cheese! I promise this one is super easy to make. Simply blend the ingredients together until smooth and whisk until thickened. That's it.
Once the cheese is ready, spoon it over the barbecue "chicken" base.
I like to add a small drizzle of oil and use a spatula to spread it over the surface to lend an authentic melted-cheese sheen. But this is totally optional.
Of course, no dip is complete without toppings.
I find that fresh cilantro, red onion, black beans, jalapeño slices, and scallions bring a fresh bite and vibrant pop of color to this savory dip.
But as always, feel free to get creative with your toppings!
Once the dip is ready, arm your fellow football-watching/zoning friends with plenty of tortilla chips and dip, dip, dip the day away.
I hope you love this vegan cheesy bbq chicken dip as much as I do.
If you make it, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #blissfulbasil on Instagram.
Vegan Cheesy BBQ Chicken Dip
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small red onion, finely diced (if desired, reserve a small amount for topping the dip)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoke salt (recommendeor sea salt
- 2 (14-ounce) cans hearts of palm, drained and cut in half widthwise
- ½ cup vegan barbecue sauce
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 scallions, ends trimmed and thinly sliced
- Cilantro leaves, to taste
- Fresh or pickled jalapeño slices (optional)
- 8 ounces plain vegan cream cheese (I use Kite Hill or homemade)
- 1 recipe Stretchy Vegan Cashew Cheddar *
- Tortilla chips, for serving
- Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender (about 5 minutes).
- Whisk together the sugar, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and smoke salt (or regular salt) in a medium bowl. Add in the hearts of palm and toss to coat.
- Add the seasoned hearts of palm to the pan with the onion. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the barbecue sauce and water. Pour over the hearts of palm. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until fall-apart tender. Remove the lid from the skillet and thoroughly shred the hearts of palm with a fork. Continue to simmer with the lid off for 5 minutes, or until the barbecue sauce is mostly absorbed. Turn off the heat.
- While the hearts of palm simmer, prepare the red onion, black beans, scallions, cilantro, and jalapeños (if using). Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350F, and lightly grease a large rectangular or round oven-safe casserole dish.
- Once the hearts of palm are ready (be sure the heat is off), add the cream cheese to the pan and thoroughly stir to incorporate. Spoon the mixture into the prepare casserole dish, and use a spatula to spread into an even layer.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until hot.
- Prepare the Stretchy Vegan Cashew Cheddar while the hearts of palm mixture bakes.
- Dollop the cheese over the BBQ hearts of palm mixture, and use the back of a spoon or a spatula to spread evenly over the surface. (I drizzle a tiny bit of oil over top to give it an authentic melted cheese sheen.)
- Top with the onion, black beans, scallions, jalapeños (if using), and cilantro.
- Serve immediately with tortilla chips for dipping.
Do you think jackfruit could be used in place of heart of palm? The latter is hard to get where I am!
Hi, Alex! Absolutely. Young green jackfruit in water or brine will work great. If the cans are the same size (14-ounces) as the hearts of palm, use two. Oftentimes, I find jackfruit comes in 20-ounce cans. In that case, I'd recommend using 1 1/2 cans. For prep, just be sure to cut off the tough triangular tips and discard (you can also discard the bulbs/seeds if you find them bothersome). Then, follow the exact same instructions for cooking. Enjoy!
Thanks for a really good recipe. It didn’t even need the cheese.
So happy to hear you enjoyed it, Sue! And helpful insight about the cheese. Will make a note that it can be served without it in a pinch.
Celeste Jackson says
I'm with you in regards to football ;) I've tried many times to be a football companion. It's good for spending time on social media and tuning it all out and sometimes just a nap. Not even sure how I can concentrate or sleep while he's yelling at the TV. Anyway, this recipe does make it more appealing I thought the bean dip was good but I think this one might be my favorite now. Thanks for making football tolerable :)
This looks so good...nice to find your blog..
Thanks so much!